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Introduction to Melodic Improvising - Starting April 15

Introduction to Melodic Improvising - Workshop starts April 15, 2022

Would you like to be able to improvise over songs and chord progressions and truly express yourself creatively? Instead of struggling with scales and arpeggios, do you wish you could create your own spontaneous melodies whenever you hear music?

In this 12-week online workshop you will learn to improvise your own melodies over songs and chord progressions and you'll learn how to practice in a way that brings out your own natural musical creativity. There will be lots of interaction with fellow students and you will receive the personal feedback and help you need to get off to the best possible start in the Improvise for Real method.

Open to all melodic instruments and improvisation levels. Beginners welcome!

The course is open to all melodic instruments and is especially designed for brass and woodwinds (saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, flute, trombone, etc). You are welcome whether you are a total beginner to improvising or whether you are a more experienced musician who is looking for a more creative way of practicing improvisation.

12 weekly video lessons - yours to keep forever

Each week you will receive a new video lesson with very clear homework assignments so you know exactly what to practice. We will cover IFR Exercise 1: Landscape, IFR Exercise 2: Melody and IFR Exercise 3: Pure Harmony. You will explore the seven harmonic environments and improvise over your first chord progressions. And there will be Mastery Level exercises for more experienced improvisers.

Immediate benefits to your playing:

  • Learn to orient yourself by ear in the key of the music when you are jamming with friends.
  • Understand how harmony flows through chord progressions and weave your own melodies through the chords.
  • Master all the notes of our musical system so you can go beyond pentatonic scales and other patterns.
  • Play directly from your musical imagination when you are improvising, expressing the sounds you hear in your mind on your instrument.

How is this course different from other improvisation courses?

Learn through your own direct experience. Instead of telling you what to play to sound good, in this course you'll be learning through your own direct experience. The sounds are presented in a step by step, progressive order so that you can master each one and add it to your personal vocabulary. You will be improvising your own music with these sounds right from the start, using your ears and developing your inner voice.

Learn in a creative, musical context. In IFR, we always practice in the context of real music. We use very simple but very effective exercises to play in different harmonic contexts. We will use jam tracks that are fun to practice with, and the course includes many musical examples to illustrate each harmonic concept.

Learn to tell musical stories. Improvising is a very personal way of making music. And you can tell powerful musical stories with just a few notes. Instead of overwhelming you with a lot of musical material, we will use simple harmonic situations so that you can focus on your own creative expression. In this course you will learn small, elegant creative exercises that will strengthen your creative muscles and deepen your artistic awareness.

Learn from other students. You are not alone! The entire group will be a source of motivation and inspiration for you, and your fellow students will help you stay on track. You can ask questions, exchange ideas and listen to each other's recordings of the exercises. It's sometimes even the beginning of long-lasting musical friendships.

My own coaching and feedback. Throughout the entire course, I will answer your questions and listen to recordings of your practicing if you like. I will give you personalized advice and ideas to explore in your practicing. Every week the entire group will also meet during a live video conference call where we can talk about the more human and personal side of learning to improvise.

Testimonials from past students

"I have loved and enjoyed it immensely, and it has enabled me to think and more importantly to feel about my music making in a new and exciting way.  It has been a musical transformation for me. Even my wife and daughter have commented how much my playing has changed and improved. Praise indeed!" - Martin Vincent (saxophone, United Kingdom)

"Jelske's feedback on samples of my playing was extremely valuable. Jelske is a great teacher. I would definitely recommend this course to others who are seeking to acquire the skills of jazz improv. The tonal approach, among other things, opens up great possibilities and changes one's perspective to improv." - Larry Silberstein (clarinet, United States)

"I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn the art of improvisation. I feel like I could ask any question and Jelske would respond with a very thorough answer. It’s like having access to a master coach! I am now more connected to how harmony flows through the major scale and I am making progress on my instrument as far as hearing ideas in my head and executing them on the guitar." - Mark Margolies (guitar, United States)

"This is the only course about improvisation that really gets you to improvise from the start. Using your ears and developing your inner voice, without music theory interfering. Jelske gives very good personalized feedback. I can honestly say that Jelske is the best teacher I have come across." - Eef van der Burg (saxophone, Netherlands)

Pricing and scheduling

  • Course begins Friday, April 15, 2022. (You don't have to be available on this Friday. You can watch the video lessons anytime and participate during the week.)
  • 12 week online course runs from April 15 through July 8, 2022.
  • Total cost = $300.
  • Price includes all course materials (lesson videos, practice tracks, etc.) as well as my personal feedback on your recordings, plus unlimited access to our student community.

Self-study option also available

Would you prefer to take "Introduction to Melodic Improvising" on your own? You can start right away, using the video tutorials and the IFR Jam Tracks. To receive the video tutorials for "Introduction to Melodic Improvising", please write to me directly at: jelske@improviseforreal.com. The total price for the self-study course is $90. (Plus $59 for the  IFR E-book Package  if you don't already have it). Please note that in this option personal feedback is not included.

We invite you to join us!

Let me help you get your new creative practice off to the best possible start. Beginners welcome! To reserve your place or to learn more, please write to me directly:


In your e-mail, please tell me a little bit about what instrument you play and what experience you may already have with the IFR method. I look forward to hearing from you and I hope you'll join our group!